Hospital stays continue to get shorter for patients of all ages recovering from all types of conditions. New moms are headed home after an uncomplicated delivery within 24-48 hours, and the typical hospital stay after a hip replacement is just one night. Almost everyone prefers recovering at their own home after a hospital stay, especially seniors who tend to be “creatures of habit.” If done right, their healing process can be as effective at home as if they remained in a facility, especially considering they’ll be in familiar surroundings and getting more uninterrupted sleep.
Here are some ways you can help your loved one heal faster and make the recovery process at home easier and more comfortable for them.
Prepare the home for their return
Making sure your older adult can get around the house safely and easily will benefit their recovery. Clear pathways and remove slippery throw rugs or other items that could cause a slip or fall. Place phones, books, remote controls, and other frequently used items within easy reach for them.
Clean the house before they arrive home and re-arrange furniture if necessary to remove hazards and obstacles. Also, make sure the pantry’s stocked with healthy, easy to prepare foods that will encourage them to prepare nutritious meals, promoting faster wound healing.
Create a list of items they’ll need
In addition to bringing home new medications, your loved one may require additional items.
Talk with the doctors and nurses who have been caring for your older adult about any items that will be needed when they return home. For example, will they need a wheelchair, walker, leg brace, hospital bed, compression socks, or any other device or clothing to help them recover?
Avoid unnecessary stress and last-minute scrambling by getting the items you need in advance of their return home.
Make them as comfortable as possible
Help your loved one recover at home comfortably, both physically and emotionally.
Physically, do small things like keep them comfortable with blankets and pillows, and keep their legs elevated if directed by their doctor to promote healing from knee, ankle, or leg surgery. Tend to their emotional needs as well. Having surgery sometimes triggers feelings of sadness and helplessness. Boost their spirits by grabbing a few of their favorite magazines, movies, or special foods or treats their doctor approved.
Go with them to follow-up appointments
Even if your loved one doesn’t have memory issues, it can be beneficial if you’re there with them for follow-up doctor visits. You may be able to give their doctor details about their health and recovery that they may not immediately remember when the doctor asks them questions.
Being there also allows you to ask the doctor questions and take notes to make sure your senior is getting the best care possible.
Ask for help when you need it
Being a family caregiver and helping a loved one recover at home can be overwhelming. If you find yourself becoming stressed out and irritable, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
AmeriCare Plus offers the highest-quality post-operative care available for families in Virginia. Our affordable and dependable post-surgical caregivers will take the pressure off you and help your loved one recover quickly and safely at home.
We offer many post-operative care services, including:
- Companion care
- Personal care
- 24-hour care
- Dementia care
- Respite care
Let us help your loved one recover safely and comfortably at home. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home assessment. We’ll create a customized care plan to help you and your loved one through post-operative recovery’s challenging and stressful ups and downs.